Strategy and Innovation Associate

The AA is UK’s most popular provider of Roadside Assistance, attending to over 10k breakdowns every day. They also have a leading position in Insurance and Driving Schools.

They advertised on movemeon for a Strategy and Innovation Associate role. The successful movemeon member was a Oxford graduate with 3 years of experience at White Space.

About the role

  • Lead the strategic planning process and track delivery of the annual plan
  • Incubate new profit growth opportunities, launch new ventures
  • Identify and prioritise new markets and growth opportunities

Job requirements:

  • 2 years plus experience from a strategy firm is preferred
  • Motivation, resourcefulness and desire to get things done
  • Hungry to learn and independent

If you are interested, here is the full job description:

The AA is the UK’s most popular provider of Roadside Assistance, attending to over 10,000 breakdowns every day. We also have a leading position in Insurance and Driving Schools: in fact, over 50% of the UK population has used at least one AA product. We have exceptional tradition in customer service, voted the nation’s most trusted brand by UK consumers this year. The AA has continued to deliver significant profit growth in a tough economic climate, through diversification into new markets like Home Services, and maintaining investment in technology innovation to consistently improve the service delivery to members.

Now a publicly listed company for the first time in our 105-year history, we are looking to strengthen our Strategy ; Innovation function, to better meet the opportunities and challenges of a public listing, and deliver sustained value growth to our shareholders. The pace of change in our industry is fast, and new competitors and markets are emerging all the time. When news stories and growth ideas land in the CEO’s inbox, they often come straight to our team to run with.

The Team

We are looking to build out our Strategy ; Innovation team and will be making multiple hires into this team via movemeon. The closing date for applications is Friday 19th September 2014.

You will be reporting directly to the Strategy and Innovation Director as part of a newly created central Strategy team, focusing on the following three objectives:

  • Leading the strategic planning process with the Business Unit teams and Finance, and tracking delivery of the annual plan each month for the Executive Committee
  • Incubating new profit growth opportunities, launching new ventures across the AA’s business lines, before handing over to the business for BAU operation
  • Identifying and prioritizing new markets and growth opportunities, scanning the market for the longer-term growth ideas within and outside the core business, size the opportunity, and develop investment cases.

The team is expected to help generate significant in-year and out-year revenue and profit impact and combines classic strategy thinking with operational and commercial delivery. Your team members will be a combination of experienced AA and industry experts, experienced strategists, and new joiners like yourself.

Where you fit in

This role offers an unusual opportunity to work across pure strategy, commercial management, operational delivery, and innovation and to have sustained impact on the business. In a typical month, you would find yourself:

  • Working with the heads of the P;Ls on a paper for the Executive Committee
  • Collaborating with Project leads on the results of specific growth initiatives and the next steps to drive them forward
  • Investigating new market trends, getting your head around the likely impact for the AA and recommending where to focus efforts
  • Writing the business case for a new growth initiative: establishing the market size and attractiveness, outlining the proposition and profit model, scoping the investment required and RoI scenarios
  • Running strategy development workshops with teams from the business

What we need from you

  • Passion for the AA’s heritage and mission – We believe the AA has a proud heritage in British Motoring, and a great future ahead of it. We are looking for people who share these beliefs, and who are always on the look-out for new opportunities to expand and to deepen our engagement with members.
  • Excellent empathy and relationship-building skills – The Strategy team is embedded with operational and finance teams, this is not a job to create Powerpoint in isolation. We need you to be adept at building a rapport with people of different backgrounds and experiences across the business, and encouraging them to work with you and help the team succeed. By the same token, you need to be open-minded and collaborative yourself. AA people love the company and what we do: you will need to provide objective, impartial challenge, but also to appreciate their vision and belief.
  • Motivation, resourcefulness, desire to get things done – Our role is to provide the ignition energy to get new ideas off the ground, and in the hands of our customers. To succeed in this environment, you need to be pragmatic and proactive, with experience in pulling people together behind new ideas, and finding creative ways to surmount technical and practical challenges. This involves being comfortable with ambiguity, and able to make logical ; structured decisions.
  • Hungry to learn and be independent – We believe people thrive when they are empowered and have ownership. You need to be keen to take on new challenges and excited about how your role can grow and evolve over time. You will be working on multiple projects at the same time; so you will need to enjoy switching gear between ideas, and relish being independent and self-starting. There will be times when you need to trust your instincts, and have the confidence to stick up for what you think is right, even with senior stakeholders.
  • Professional standards, organisation and attention to detail – We are often the AA’s interface with partners and suppliers. As such, you need to represent the AA’s commitment to quality and excellent service as much as our patrols on the road do. We are looking for people with high standards for their work and good attention to detail and quality control.

A central part of the role is Strategic Planning; therefore you’ll need excellent organisation and prioritisation skills to keep on top of the business’ multiple priorities as well as the core strategy consulting toolkit, including:

  • Market and trends research and competitor benchmarking
  • Customer needs analysis and proposition design
  • Profit model development and business-casing
  • Implementation planning
  • Customer ; operational data analysis, evaluation and synthesis of key insights in a commercial context
  • Writing and delivering presentations and project reviews for a range of audiences.

We are looking for people with experience in growth strategy work, ideally in a similar B2C industry or context. You will need to be very comfortable with numbers and have experience in Excel modelling. Statistics and database analytics (e.g. SQL) is preferable but not necessary.

Significant consulting experience for a strategy firm, with education to degree or masters level or equivalent would be preferred. Proficiency in core Microsoft products is expected.

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